Everybody seems to have something to say about Sunday's final Sopranos episode, and a lot of it has me pretty pissed off. Last night i decided to faggeddaboutit, but as the whining and kvetching continues on Tuesday, i have to say-
SHUT UP, BITCHES!
Did you even watch the previous 85 episodes? Is there any possibility that an unambiguous 'closure' (i thought i hated that expression, but had no idea how much until yesterday morning) could have satisfied one person, not to mention everyone?
If you had been paying attention, how could you expect that David Chase was going to hand you Tony whacked/Tony indicted/Tony victorious/Tony loses children/Tony goes into witness protection and becomes Kevin Finnerty/yaddayaddayadda, all wrapped up in a tidy package? Has he EVER tidied up the loose ends before?
If you have enjoyed the show over the years, why was that exactly? Because i always thought the show was special in the way it challenges you - entertains, sure, but makes you work for it, and never lets the characters or the viewers off the hook. Since the overriding theme is that everyone is more or less guilty, and that change is hard won to the point of being practically nonexistent, why is a final event necessary? But, if you insist, for your pleasure, Chase has provided you with a choose-your-own-Sopranos-ending finale. This is, in fact, more than i expected, and while today it might please me to think Tony got whacked along with the viewers, tomorrow i might think he'll sidestep a hit man and prison time, only to have his depression mount as his family continues to disappoint... see? The pleasure is the speculation, not the resolution.
And do not whimper about being mind fucked... what, you hated Fight Club? Don't like surprises or dashed expectations? But you love The Sopranos.... riiiight. What does Livia say - "It's all a big nothing!". The "big nothing" is the theme of the show. Nobody and nothing changes. There have been fabulous and not-so-great episodes, but every episode had been consistent with the premise of the show. After eight years the final show was faithful to that idea, and The Sopranos never jumped the shark. The worst crime was after years of spectacular music, making a Journey song stick in my head. And even that was true to the needs of the show.
Okay, i got that off my chest. In the past week i've looked at hundreds of blog posts about the show, and many 'best' lists. Sean Collins' list is the hands-down winner.
130 Things I Loved About The Sopranos
It seems incredible that this little blog has been around for more than two years, but back in 2004 an entry titled Of RobotMen and Martian Popping Things, i mentioned a challenge my brother Ramon and i had set for ourselves and our friends. We were going to use the RobotMen of the Lost Planet (or their vinyl replicas, the Martian Popping Thing) as the theme for a drawing or painting.
Ramon has come through first... i'm struggling to complete a secret project and won't do my part until the current work is complete. But he has graciously provided a scan of his painting. His comments are below.
"Be Wary Of Robotmen"
When I say that I am relatively pleased with this painting I must point out that it has been about 5 years since I finished ANY painting so my expectations are not too high. My nearly complete lack of any technical painting skills generally combine with the traditional "Too little time" excuse to deliver a death blow to any painting I start.
This particular exercise is, for Juana and I, a chance to interpret a family Icon. I believe that all families have these types of Iconic images which they carry with them from childhood, binding them together, though some families lack the gatekeepers who recognize and safeguard such familial symbols. Juana and I are the keepers of symbols in our family, although, I must say that all our brothers are much more aware of such images than in many families.
My goal was to get the proverbial "ball" rolling see if our odd family icon would strike a resonant cord with anyone else. I took liberties with the details as I would hope everyone would do to personalize the symbology. I see the strange, blank faces of the Martian Popping toys as vaguely sinister to children yet dependent upon the child (or inner child) for their existence in the literal sense. How is it that these anachronistic toys are even still being produced??? The focus on the mesmerized/terrified child also gave me the opportunity to pay homage to Alfred Eisenstaedt. To my mind he is the greatest photographer of people who has ever lived. He is the reason you can pick up nearly any copy of Look magazine spanning 30+ years and be awed.
Juana and Marc, You are on the clock!
I hope that ANYONE with the urge will fearlessly send their impressions of Robotmen and Martian Toys.